Introduction: Laser Engraving a Pumpkin
What better way to show off your laser than to make super cool engravings on your Halloween pumpkins! It's not hard as long as you have a laser with the appropriate Z depth. We are using a Trotec Speedy 400, which has a 12" Z depth, more than enough room to create some great designs.
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Step 1: Create Your Graphic and Pick Your Pumpkin
Create your image in a graphics program. For this demonstration, we are only engraving, not cutting all the way through the pumpkin. This will create a nice glowing effect when the pumpkin is lit from the inside if you choose to hollow it out. Select a pumpkin with a fairly flat side that is large enough to hold your engraving.
Step 2: Position Your Pumpkin in the Laser
Position your pumpkin in the laser, making sure to level the flat side. We used scrap materials to help shim the pumpkin, and to keep it from rolling while engraving.
Step 3: Time to Laser
Adjust your settings. You will want to use more power to get a nice, deep engraving into your pumpkin. Also, having the laser engrave from the bottom up will make it easier to clean afterwards. Focus your laser, then press start.
Speedy 400, 80 watt system
Power - 100%
Speed - 80%
PPI - 500
air assist on
Step 4: Clean the Pumpkin
After the engraving is complete, remove your pumpkin from the laser. Clean the engraving with water and a toothbrush. You can seal the engraving with petroleum jelly to help keep the edges from drying out or rotting too quickly. Make sure that you take some time to thoroughly clean out your laser, engraving on pumpkins can get messy!
Step 5: Light It Up!
Hollow out your pumpkin. Make sure that you scrape the inside of the area where the engraving is to make that side thinner, giving you a brighter glow.